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Friday, 4 June 2021

OVERHEARD - A confidential conversation between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

 

 PM: I've always been clear that I want to maintain our country's finances in sparkling condition...so that those Europeans cannot gloat. Now, give me a brief summary of the current situation. 

RS: Er....well. 

PM: Get on with it, man!

 RS: Well, Prime Minister. Our National Debt is at this moment £2.13 trillion. 

PM: What! 

RS: Second only in size to that of the US. 

PM: Great Heavens. When did that happen? 

RS: It's been happening for a long time now. In fact, every government we’ve had just borrowed more and more.

 PM: Can't we pay it down somehow?

 RS: Unfortunately, no. Our current bank balance is actually £114 billion in the red.

 PM: What! Are you sure? Have you done your sums right? 

RS: Yes, Prime Minister. I have.

 PM: Well. They won't increase so long as I'm Prime Minister.

 RS: Um. They already have. 

PM: What!? 

RS:We’ve already spent a ton of money, fighting Covid, etc. In fact, so far, we’ve spent £220 billion. 

PM: What!? Ridiculous! 

RS: And we’ve announced we’ll be spending another £100 billion at least. 

PM:What!? 

RS: It might not reach £400 billion in total, but it would be safe to assume so. 

 P.M: £400 billion! How on earth….? 

RS: We discussed it over breakfast last week. I left aide-memoires for you with the numbers, as you were in a hurry to see your wife. 

PM: H’m. Well! Something must be done! You should know what to do – you’re the Chancellor! 

RS: It’s very difficult, Prime Minister. We can’t put up income tax or VAT.

 PM: Why on earth not? 

RS: We said we wouldn’t in our election manifesto.

 PM: Oh, fiddle. We’ll just forget it. We’ll put the taxes up at the same time as we announce we’ll be giving more money to the NHS. 

RS: But we haven’t got any money left to give to the NHS. 

PM: Don’t be naive, Rushi. It will be a story for the media. With undefined dates. 

RS: Oh. I see. But there is another problem. 

PM: Really? Then make it snappy, or I’ll be late for my next photo-op. A really good one. Eating a waffle outside Number Ten. It will show I’m a man of the people. 

RS: A waffle? Isn’t that slightly..er.. dangerous? 

PM: And after that I’m off on holiday. I’ll probably take the bike. The North’s nice and flat, I believe. 

RS: Um. The next problem is very serious. Financially, we are soon going to be unable to pay our debts to the banks and other governments that we usenow. But I’ve contacted the one your donor recommended – the Sino-Arabian Bank. They seem reliable people. And quite ready to give us a mortgage. 

PM: Excellent! Do it! But, timeo foreign johnnies ut dona ferentes, eh? I should have been running this country a long time ago…..